Allergies

Spring is the beginning of pollen allergy season. First are the tree flowers, then the grasses. Some people have lots of allergies, others are allergic to only one or two things. 

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For general support with allergies, we have lots of advice. If  local seasonal pollens tend to bother you, see below. But, if seasonal allergies are more than a minor irritant, a deeper approach might be better. Feel free to make an appointment, if your allergies are long-standing or not resolving. Here are some pointers for resolving allergies:


1. Address adrenal fatigue. Many doctors, including Dr. Shapiro, have found that people suffering from significant allergies generally have some amount of adrenal fatigue. The doctor can test your adrenal function and prescribe appropriate supplements to support the glands. Things you can do on your own to support your adrenals include: 

a. Avoid sugar and caffeine 

b. Enjoy spicy teas like ginseng, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and licorice (best to avoid licorice if you have high blood pressure)

c. Get plenty of sleep

d. Practice meditation and cultivate a positive attitude

e. Avoid stress

f. Get plenty of B vitamins, either as nutritional yeast, in whole grains, or as a supplement. B5 is especially important for allergy sufferers. Dr. Shapiro prefers the activated form of B5 called Pantethine. 

g. Consume more probiotics, either as supplements or foods or both. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in our intestinal tracts and mucous membranes and support our health in many ways. For outstanding general probiotic supplements we recommend “Probiotic synergy” by Designs for Health (a powder) or Probiotic Pearls by Integrative Therapeutics, both require refrigeration. For a high power probiotic that does not require refrigeration, use Ortho Biotic, or for a basic one try Spectra Probiotic. All of these are available at our office. Commercially we like Natren Trinity best, and Jarrow Dophilus is okay for basic support. 


2. For Symptomatic Relief: For many people with seasonal allergies, several simple remedies are helpful for controlling symptoms.

a. Neti Pot: A neti is an Ayurvedic tool for cleansing mucous and pollens from the nose. They can be purchased on line, and at many natural groceries and pharmacies. Many people find they get allergy relief from working with one. For basic Neti use, mix 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt with 1 cup of purified water. Pour this into one nostril, tilting your head to the other side, letting the fluid drain out the other nostril or into the back of the mouth. Spit out any liquid that gathers in the mouth. DO NOT snort the salt water up into your nose. If you find this irritating in any way, discontinue use of the neti. 

b. Zone 9 drops are a homeopathic remedy made from pollens of this region. Try 10 drops under the tongue 2-3 times per day. Available at our office. Safe in pregnancy. 

c. Natural d-Hist, is a supplement which helps control allergy symptoms. It has nothing in it to make you drowsy or wired, so is fine for driving, working and sleeping.  Use 2 capsules 2-3 times daily when symptoms are present. If possible, begin around 1-2 weeks before symptoms are expected. Available at our office.

d. Euphorbium Comp nasal spray is a homeopathic nasal spray that many of our patients rely on for relief of nasal allergy symptoms. Available at our office. Safe in pregnancy. 

e. Quercetin, one component of Natural d-Hist, is popular for treating allergies. Use 500 mg 2-3 times daily.  If possible, begin around 1-2 weeks before symptoms are expected. Available many places (including our office)

f. XCLEAR® is a nasal xylitol spray available in natural groceries in pharmacies (not at our office, though). It can decrease risk of sinus infections and help symptomatically with allergy relief. 

g. Freeze dried nettle capsules are also part of Natural d-Hist and are often effective alone. They too, are widely available, both at our office and elsewhere. Safe in pregnancy. 

h. Homeopathic remedies for grass pollen and tree pollen are easily found at natural food stores and natural pharmacies as well as our office. Safe in pregnancy. 

i. Pantethine, or the activated form of vitamin B5, is helpful for many allergy sufferers. It also nourishes the adrenals, as discussed above. Use one or two tablets with breakfast and lunch. Safe in pregnancy. 

j. Bian Pian and Pe Min Kan Wan are traditional Chinese herbal formulas for nasal allergies. There are a variety of different companies that make them, so follow directions on the bottle. I generally find Pe Min Kan Wan is best for the tree pollens and Bian Pian is best for the second part of the allergy season (grass pollens) but see for yourself. These are usually quite inexpensive and widely available. 


Consider some of the other detoxification ideas and methods mentioned above.  The increased mucous that accompanies allergies may be the way that the body releases and moves out stored toxins and metabolic debris.  Of course, we have lots of other tools for a custom program if you need more than the above advice. 

Magic Pet Publishing 2012 Copyright Marcey Shapiro MD